7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer didn’t host quick takes on Friday; but I’ve got a backlog of them saved up from the past two weeks and don’t want to wait until next Friday. So here goes: my occasional foray into recording those little moments that I don’t want to forget.

*    *    *

I’m changing the sheets on my bed. Before I put the blanket and comforter and quilt back on, Bella walks in and sees the sunlight shining on the smooth, white sheets: “It’s beautiful!” she exclaims, “Just like a clearing in the woods!”

I think she’s thinking of Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon and the moonlight shining on the snow-filled clearing.

*    *    *

At 3 am Bella is in the kitchen being dosed with medicine. Cough,… cough: “I think maybe I might be getting sick,” she says in a pathetic little whine. “No, Bella. You ARE sick,” I reply.

*    *    *

A watershed moment: Friday morning Bella complained that her pancake was cold and asked me to warm it up for her. Heretofore she has been incredibly heat-phobic, refusing to eat anything above room temperature. (Making sure all food was chilled to room temperature was a mistake we made with our oldest when she was a toddler and not with the other kids.)

*    *    *

First I caught Ben dipping fingers in the toilet and licking them. Ick! Then he scrubbed the hall floor with his toothbrush and put it back into his mouth. I never had this kind of problem with the girls.

*    *    *

If I give the kids only a quarter slice of bread or toast, they tend to eat the whole piece, crusts and all. If I give them half a slice or a whole slice—or even several quarter slices on their plate all at once—then they tend to leave the crusts behind. So doling them out a quarter at a time is a bit more work for me but less wasteful.

*    *    *

The other night Ben seemed hungry so I offered him a piece of bread and butter. He seemed to want it; but when I handed it to him, he got mad and dropped it. Then he ran to the drawer where we keep the plates. It was empty so I gave him a plate from the dishwasher. He put the bread and butter on the plate and carried it over to the table, put it on the table, climbed into his chair and then ate it.

He has repeated this several times, fetching a plate whenever food is offered to him. Once at dinner he even grabbed plates for Bella and Sophie.

Tonight I was about to put him to bed when he spied the pecan pie sitting on the stove top. He pointed and babbled at it. Even though he’s never had it before, I was certain it was what he wanted. SO I cut him a slice and he was happy.

He is becoming a little boy who very much knows his own mind. 

*    *    *

Bella is standing in the kitchen exclaiming to no one in particular: “Don’t open the refrigerator, you rats of spit!…. Rats of spit! Rats of spit!”

I have no idea where that epithet came from; but I rather like it. Rats of spit.


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  • Honestly, I consider myself a moderately good planner of things and so I can confidently say: you’re doing great.  I think your standard of planning might be higher than mine, so you think you’re less put together than you really are. Carry on! Or not.

  • Jen’s “Baby steps” post inspired me to join FlyLady, actually – and the saying is ‘You are not behind: jump in right where you are’ which is very helpful. I too think you’re doing well anyway; I have my Advent candles on the table and will put up the Advent Calendar tomorrow (Wednesday); I put up cards, decorations and Christmas tree about the 15th and enjoy them till January 6th with one special decoration left till February 2nd.
    Best wishes from Valerie of New Zealand.

  • Mmmm, bbq! Can’t ever get enough!

    I’m behind on my Advent. Traveling for Thanksgiving and then hosting an Advent retreat has my home woefully behind! I don’t stress about it, though. I always use the first week to ease into it. The traditions, whether we miss a day or three on the calendars or such can always be made up.

  • I love the Advent season!  Especially since I have stopped trying to do all the great Advent activities I read about.  Like many commenters on Jen’s post the Advent wreath is the only “must do” for me.  One thing I do have to plan is our Advent chain – purple and pink construction paper links each with a special activity for that day.  I learned long ago that I have to put a little thought into it and plan with my calendar because if the loop said “bake Christmas cookies” and it was the night of the school concert my kids would be devastated that we couldn’t bake the cookies at 9:00 at night!  I spent some time with my calendar and on the busy nights we’ll do simple things like sing carols or have hot chocolate and on 1/2 from school we’ll bake.  But in the end I tell my girls it’s about preparing our hearts for Jesus’ coming.  Eye on the prize. 

  • Melanie, I’m smiling from ear to ear! Your words remind me exactly why you are an inspiration to me, because they make me think “I can do this!” rather than leave me feeling wide-eyed and inadequate. Our first Advent Sunday ended up being a series of dramas, and so we moved Advent Sunday to monday! (That’s a post in itself I think!) It was a simple beginning to our first Advent but so precious to me nonetheless. Another thought that has just occured to me is that if Advent is a season of getting ready, then perhaps by being completely and perfectly ready before hand, we may miss that meaning? As well as that, if we put all our focus on our own efforts to get ready, we miss the wonder that it is God within is doing the most important preparation of all… You are definitely onto something with this Slow Advent idea Melanie – I’m in!

  • oops. I posted this, noticed some URLs that were messed up and went to fix them. Somehow I ended up with two posts, one with broken URLs and one with the links all pretty and shiny. Then I realized there were two posts and closed one. Evidently the wrong one. I’ve now fixed the broken links in this post.

    Of course, before I was able to close one of the duplicates, both posts had comments left on them.

    Thus two comments were “lost” when I closed the duplicate post. So I’ll just repost them here.

    Katherine wrote:

    This post seemed to post twice so I’m not sure which I should comment on. I hope here is okay.

    We have the advent wreath out, I gave the girls a Little People Nativity set they can play with, and we read St. Nicholas last night. That is the extent of our Advent right now. I keep our Christmas and Easter books out all year, just on a top shelf out of the way until we need them. All I really needed to do was get the Advent Wreath out. We won’t be doing any more decorating for a couple of weeks until the 3rd or 4th Sunday of Advent.

    I guess, as long as I have the Advent Wreath out, I don’t think there is much rush to anything. I mean, if Advent is a time of preparation, how much preparing to prepare do you really want to do? Advent is supposed to be a time of prayer and peace preparing for great joy, not a time of stressed chaos.

    It makes me glad I stay home as much as I do. smile

    GeekLady wrote:

    I only got half of my Advent preparation (read fall cleaning) done. It really is just fall cleaning, but I have to get it done after Halloween’s costume-mess making and before I start messing the house up during Advent for Christmas or things get squirrelly.

    I had the Advent wreath all ready, wicks trimmed. It’s all we do FOR Advent.

    And then on Sunday I got a headache so bad that I couldn’t go to Mass (or walk or eat or do much of anything). So it doesn’t feel like Advent at all to me and I’m rather bummed about it.

  • priest’s wife,

    snag away!


    Exactly. I think you said it better than I did, what I was trying to get at but didn’t quite find the right words for. It does seem to me that the very feeling of inadequacy and of being unprepared is exactly the spirit in which we should enter Advent.

    Sunday’s readings drove that home to me even more. St Paul says: “You know the time;
    it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.”

    and from the Gospel: “Therefore, stay awake!
    For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
    Be sure of this: if the master of the house
    had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
    he would have stayed awake
    and not let his house be broken into.
    So too, you also must be prepared,
    for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.�

    That worry about not being prepared… it’s a good thing so long as it spurs me to turn to Him and not to rely on myself.

    I need this reminder of my own poverty. Otherwise I’d be doing it all my own way instead of remembering His way. As Christina Rossetti writes: “What can I give him, poor as I am? Give him my heart.”